It is not uncommon for a domestic situation to get out of hand. Unfortunately, in some cases, violence can erupt even when police are present. A circumstance just like this happened in Snohomish County on July 14, 2018.
Officers with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office responded to a domestic violence call at a home southeast of Everett at approximately 10 PM. The caller claimed her 67-year-old husband had assaulted her and was threatening her with a weapon. As law enforcement arrived at the home in the 4100 block of 120th Place SE, the suspect allegedly opened fire on the officers. The deputies at the scene returned fire. The man held the sheriff's deputies at bay for several minutes before surrendering to the authorities.
No deputies were hit during the shooting. However, all four were placed on automatic administrative leave to allow for an investigation into the shooting.
Domestic Violence Assault Laws in Washington State
While the Everett man will now face significant charges due to firing on police officers responding to a domestic violence call, his underlying assault charges are unlikely to go away. Domestic violence assault charges on their own can carry steep penalties. There are four types of assault charges in Washington, with Fourth-Degree Assault being the least serious and First-Degree Assault being the most serious.
Fourth-Degree Assault is considered a gross misdemeanor and can lead to $3,500 in fines and up to one year in jail. According to Washington State law:
A person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree if, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first, second, or third degree, or custodial assault, he or she assaults another.
Third-Degree Assault is a Class C felony that carries up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Washington State Law considers you to have committed Third-Degree Assault if you
- Cause harm by being criminally negligent with a weapon or dangerous instrument; or
- Cause harm that leads to pain and suffering for a substantial period of time due to criminal negligence.
Second-Degree Assault can, in some instances, carry a sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. You have committed Second-Degree Assault if you
- Assault another recklessly and intentionally and cause substantial harm Intentionally harm an unborn child by assaulting the mother;
- Assault another with a deadly weapon not amounting to first-degree assault;
- Poison another person with the intent to do harm;
- Assault another person with felony intent;
- Cause injury to a person that inflicts pain or agony in a way that could be considered torture; or
- Strangle or suffocate another person.
First-Degree Assault carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $50,000. First-Degree Assault includes any assault involving deadly weapons, poison, or that leads to serious injury.
If you are facing assault charges, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Contact them today to set up your free consultation.